Week 1 Carolina traveled to Arizona to face the Cardinals to start their season. While Carolina fell short of the win, the game still left us with a lot to talk about. First and foremost the thing everyone is going to be talking about is
- Cam Newton. Wow. I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical about the Panthers picking Cam #1 overall but since he became a Panther I’ve been rooting for him. But I doubt even the strongest supporter expected the performance Cam put on right out the gates for his first regular season start.
For those of you that don’t know Cam made history Sunday. He broke a 60 year old record for the most passing yards ANY QB has thrown for in their debut game.And he did it after only a 5 week shortened training camp.Here is what Cam’s stat line was for Sunday’s game:24 for 37 for 422 yards passing
8 rushes for 18 yards
2 Passing TDs
One rushing TD
110.4 QB Rating
- Looking past Cam’s stats he looked very poised throughout the game, even with the Cardinals blitzing often. His arm strength is just a treat to watch and his accuracy looked very good as well.
But the thing I liked most from Cam came when the game was over.Cam was PISSED. And I loved that.Cam was pissed that his team lost. Awesome. That attitude is contagious. There will not be any laughing or joking around on the trip back home for the team. Only thoughts on what more could of been done to win. This is very good for our future.The two things I saw that I hope Cam improves on is keeping his eyes up field when he scrambles in the pocket. There were three or four plays Cam put his head down when he went to scramble. It will be much harder for him to find the open man once he gets free after the scramble if he doesn’t keep his head up and eyes down field.The other is his commitment when he decides to tuck the ball and run. There were a few plays were you could tell Cam was debating whether to take off and run or to stay in the pocket. One of which Cam changed his mind after starting to try to run, tried to stop and stay in the pocket but slipped and the play resulted in a sack. Cam needs to be more decisive. When he thinks he should run he should just go and not debate it.
- How good was it to see Steve Smith have a monster game again? It has been a long time since Steve has had the opportunity to dominate a game like he did Sunday. I bet he is feeling rejuvenated at the thought of the possibilities this season will hold for he and Cam.
- I hope Jon Beason is OK after going down with a Achilles injury.
- Our run defense looked improved but still has a long way to go. We still look very weak against the run and I was really surprised to not see the Cardinals try to exploit that weakness more.
- How about the performance Chris Gamble put on? Larry Fitzgerald was almost a non-factor the entire game. Gamble kept Fitzgerald in check by limiting him to only 3 catches and no touchdowns.
- How did we go from having the worst passing attack with a monster running game to an amazing passing game with no rushing attack at all? This week definitely showed a offense that Carolina fans are not used to. As a team Carolina only rushed for 74 yards but passed for 403 (Not sure how as a team we passed for 403 yards yet Cam threw for 422 yards). Is this a sign for things to come?
- I am not a fan of Legedu Naanee starting opposite of Steve Smith. I saw Naanee completely whiff on some key blocks way too often plus rarely was he open. I think LaFell and Edwards should be ahead of him on the depth chart personally.
- I was glad to see Charles Johnson have a good game. He was pretty quite in the preseason and I was beginning to get worried he may be a one year wonder.
- Last but not least, as a team we need to clean up the penalties. It is only week 1 but hopefully we play cleaner games sooner rather than later.
What are everyone else’s thoughts on the game?